‘You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!’Apostle Paul to Timothy, a young pastor in a church in Ephesus in the first century A.D. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Doesn’t this passage describe our world today? It kind of describes the seven deadly sins: greed, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy — the things responsible for the dark, broken status of our current culture.
Let’s break down each of the Seven Deadly Sins:
- Greed: Wanting the best, fastest, newest, hottest; wanting more money. Not being content with what you’ve got.
- Pride: Boasting that you have the best, fastest, newest, hottest, most luxurious. Or that you are the best, smartest, etc.
- Gluttony: Wanting more food than our bodies need. Over 1/4 of Americans are overweight or obese.
- Lust: Sex is everywhere you look. When advertisers discovered that “sex sells”, we were bombarded. There’s no such thing as love at first sight — it’s lust at first sight. We’re living in a world–culture–of sexual brokenness.
- Sloth: We are a sloppy bunch. Single people tend to be guilty of this. Who cares if the house is dirty? No one else is going to see it. Laziness and procrastination fall under this category also.
- Wrath: Anger — uncontrollable desires for malice or revenge. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. You log on to social media and the anger and hatred that people are spewing is sickening.
- Envy: Better than the Joneses. Envy goes together with greed and pride. Someone boasts that they have a new car and you need to go out to buy a better one. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.
In the 10th Commandment, God tells us…
“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”Exodus 20:17
Paul ends that passage to Timothy by saying, “Stay away from people like that!” Easier said than done, right?
So how does one avoid the Seven Deadly Sins?
Look at the seven heavenly virtues: charity, humility, temperance, chastity (purity), diligence, patience, kindness.
Those are very similar to the Fruit of the Spirit…
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.Galatians 5:16-25
When you accept Christ as your savior, repent of your sins and are baptized, you receive the Holy Spirit in your heart and you have access to these fruits. You don’t automatically get them, but when you need them, all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for help.
Notice that self-control is the last, but I think the most important one. The devil’s temptation is everywhere and the only way we can fight it, is to call on the Holy Spirit.
When you’re about to lose your self-control, that’s when you need to ask yourself What Would Jesus Do? Ask the Holy Spirit for strength…
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7
Are the Seven Deadly Sins Biblical?
We are ALL Guilty of Sin
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”Romans 5:12
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”Ephesians 1:7
Are you saved from sin? You are if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You are if you have repented of your sins and invited Jesus into your heart.
Repenting means admitting that you have sinned and doing a 180 degree turn in your life and willfully striving to never sin again. However, that’s not easy! We are tempted every day!
The Holy Spirit
That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'”John 16:13-15
Paul tells us in Romans 6:1-4…
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
Until you believe, repent and are baptized — because you believe as an adult — you do not have your ticket to Heaven.
I urge you to read the letters of Paul to the Romans, Ephesians and Galatians for yourself. Ask Jesus to open you mind, and heart and eyes to see the truth.